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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1418;

Mapping High Mountain Lakes Using Space-Borne Near-Nadir SAR Observations

Key Laboratory of Space Utilization, Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Environmental Changes in Cold Regions)
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Near-nadir interferometric imaging SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) techniques are promising in measuring global water extent and surface height at fine spatial and temporal resolutions. The concept of near-nadir interferometric measurements was implemented in the experimental Interferometric Imaging Radar Altimeters (InIRA) mounted on Chinese Tian Gong 2 (TG-2) space laboratory. This study is focused on mapping the extent of high mountain lakes in the remote Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP) areas using the InIRA observations. Theoretical simulations were first conducted to understand the scattering mechanisms under near-nadir observation geometry. It was found that water and surrounding land pixels are generally distinguishable depending on the degree of their difference in dielectric properties and surface roughness. The observed radar backscatter is also greatly influenced by incidence angles. A dynamic threshold method was then developed to detect water pixels based on the theoretical analysis and ancillary data. As assessed by the LandSat results, the overall classification accuracy is higher than 90%, though the classifications are affected by low backscatter possibly from very smooth water surface. The algorithms developed from this study can be extended to all InIRA land measurements and provide support for the similar space missions in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: near-nadir SAR; Tian Gong 2; Qinghai–Tibet Plateau; lake near-nadir SAR; Tian Gong 2; Qinghai–Tibet Plateau; lake

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, S.; Tan, H.; Liu, Z.; Zhou, Z.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, W.; Liu, K.; Qin, B. Mapping High Mountain Lakes Using Space-Borne Near-Nadir SAR Observations. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1418.

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